UPDATE: If you’re completely new to Gunpla be sure to check out our Gunpla Beginners Guide
Gunpla can be a daunting hobby and potential builders are often not sure what to expect. In this post we’ll run through a build of our top pick for beginners. The new 2020 RX-78-2 Gundam [Beyond Global] is a great high grade kit which is simple to build, has modern pastel-like colours and excellent poseability.
When you first get a Gunpla kit it will come boxed with the runners in sealed bags and an instruction manual for assembly.
The images on the right show the full contents of the box (except the one sticker but you will see that later on)
Some key terms:
Kit – Refers to an unassembled Gunpla model ready to be built
Runners – The plastic parts are attached to a ‘runner’ and need separating before they can be snapped together. Each runner has a label which can be found on its tab. For example the runner with white, blue and yellow parts is labelled ‘A’.
Gates – Thin parts of plastic which attach each part to the runner. These are the parts which you will cut to separate the pieces.
In the manual, you’ll find some facts and history about the Mobile Suit you are building as well as detailed instructions on how to assemble it.
The first page is especially useful as it shows where you should and shouldn’t cut and what the various numbers mean throughout the instructions.
It’s worth noting here that to cut the pieces from the runner, you will need a set of hobby nippers. They don’t need to be expensive, they just need to be able to cut through plastic. If you’re just starting out, even a set of nail clippers will do the job.
Most of the instructions will be in black and white with some pages in colour. The manual is also a great reference for some of the poses you can pull off with your kit and they often reference famous poses from the Anime / Manga series.
Let's Build! - The Torso
It’s finally time to build! We can see that we will need parts from runners A. B, F and E.
The instructions also show in detail which way you should hold the part and has warnings to make sure you don’t cut off too much.
Some pieces will ‘snap’ into each other and those are also highlighted as you can see in the middle section of the manual page.
There are little sideways speech marks next to some parts. These are to make sure you pay attention as to which way around the part should be during assembly so you don’t get anything backwards.
Simply follow the instructions and we have our completed torso yay!
Let's Build! - The Head
The head is only made up of a couple of parts but they are quite small so best to take care.
On the right you can see the parts for the head all cut out before assembly as well as the sticker sheet which I forgot to lay out with the box contents earlier. This is the only sticker in the kit but in other kits you might find a larger sheet with more stickers to apply at various stages of the build.
Since I have the fine motor skills of a moose, I opted to instead colour in the space around the eyes with a fine black marker rather than apply the sticker.
Let's Build! - The Arms
Next we need our little Gundam to be able to hold his weapons and for that, he needs arms.
On the right you’ll see two sets of parts laid out which make up the main arms section and then what they look like assembled.
The hands and shoulders are just three pieces so there aren’t pictures of those, instead you can see the arms attached to our head / torso combination.
Let's Build! - The Waist
This is probably the most parts we’ve seen laid out so far.
For a high grade kit, the waist on this one has a lot of colour separation and independently moveable parts.
Colour Separation is a key term you will hear in the Gunpla community and refers to the combination of individual parts of different colours. If you look at the yellow on red emblem in the middle of the waist, it is composed of a yellow part peeking through a gap in the red part. It’s not uncommon to see this achieved with the use of stickers which obviously wouldn’t look as good.
Also note the top part of the page where we have a movement check for the upper body. You will see these at various points in the manual to show you how the completed kit is supposed to move and to make sure you didn’t do anything incorrectly.
Let's Build! - The Feet and Legs
The final part of this little walkthrough shows the feet and legs before and after assembly.
Laying out your parts in order is a good way of keeping organised and remembering which part goes where. Alternatively when doing your first build, you might want to cut out and immediately attach each part as you go.
The Finished Product!
The gun / shield are made up of just a couple of parts so we’re skimming over those and showing the final assembled product with those attached.
You can also see what leftover parts we have which include beams sabers (these attach to the handles on the back of the Gundam which ours is reaching for) and some spare hands for different poses.
Hopefully you now have a good idea of what building a Gunpla kit involves and maybe you’re even curious enough to try building your own!